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The Struggle to be Ordinary

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Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa

15 November 2020


uKESA Librarian 2

Policy brief

South Africa

This short documentary on sanitation for women with disabilities living in informal settlements was undertaken by SERI partnership with the South African Cities Network (SACN), the National Upgrading Support Programme (NUSP), and Constitution Hill. This documentary was commissioned by the Ford Foundation and was produced together with twospinningwheels productions and the Pegasys Institute. The film raises awareness of the intersection of gender, disability and basic services in informal settlements in South Africa. The key message to come out of both the film and discussions is the urgent need for government to upgrade informal settlements in situ by making every effort to engage disabled people, particularly disabled women, in making decisions that directly impact their lives.  

The documentary was developed as an advocacy tool which social justice organisations can use to press for universal access to safe, dignified sanitation and the concomitant advancement of the human rights of women and girls with disabilities. SERI’s hope is for the documentary to raise awareness, build knowledge and to influence a change in our attitudes, thinking, policies and practices. The documentary is accompanied by a policy brief which sets out the implications for policy and the legal framework that governs over access to sanitation for women with disabilities living in informal settlements.


Website References

Built environment


Human settlements

Informal settlement upgrading

Informal settlements

Poverty & inequality


South Africa


Water and sanitation

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